Engagement Trend: Proposing With A Loaner Ring

Engagement Trend: Proposing With a Loaner Ring

For many women, getting a diamond engagement ring is a dream come true. She’s going to be wearing it every day, showing it off to everyone she knows, and using it as proof that her fiancé knows her better than anyone. So, you better not choose a ring she hates. That pressure is what leads a lot of couples to pick out a ring together. While there’s definitely nothing wrong with that, it also eliminates the element of surprise that some people want in a marriage proposal.

Luckily, Studio1098, which was named Toronto’s Best Jewellery Store for 2015 by NOW Magazine, has a solution for that very problem. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we talked to Studio1098 owner, chief goldsmith, gemologist, and jewellery designer, Tamara Kronis, about the service they offer allowing guys to propose with a loaner ring and other recent engagement trends.

AmongMen: Can you describe the loaner engagement ring system Studio1098 offers?
Tamara Kronis: Studio1098 specializes in making unique and interesting engagement rings. Sometimes, a client has a time crunch where there isn’t enough time before the proposal to make a custom ring. That happens a lot around the holidays, or around Valentine’s Day. Other times, a client wants proposal to be a surprise, but wants his fiancée-to-be to be involved in the design process.

In either case, we lend the client a “placeholder engagement ring” that works within their budget, and that has as many of the custom features they’re looking for as possible. That way, they can have all the fun of proposing without any of the stress of worrying that they have compromised on design. After the proposal, the couple brings the ring back and we go from there to make the perfect custom engagement ring for them.

AM: How does the system work?
TK: The client provides a deposit to cover the cost of the ring they are borrowing in case they decide to keep it. When they return it, the deposit gets applied against the custom order. For the completely fake rings, the client provides a deposit of $250 (currently) in case they lose it or decide not to move forward for whatever reason.

AM: Do you have a good story about a client who used the service?
TK: A client this fall was sure he wanted to make an engagement ring with an oval blue sapphire but wasn’t completely sure his girlfriend was going to like the design we developed as much as he did, and he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to make the ring in white gold or yellow gold. He was also planning to propose on a trip and wasn’t sure he wanted to take a sapphire engagement ring with him where they were going.

The solution? I lent him a completely fake ring with a cubic in it for the proposal, along with computer renderings of the ring we were planning to make. He had a blast proposing, she loved the design we’d come up with as it was, and we’re in the process of making it now – in white gold which is what she preferred.

AM: What has the feedback from clients been like?
TK: The feedback from people who have used a placeholder engagement ring has been great! For the guys involved, it’s allowed them to propose with confidence without worrying that they’ve taken a huge risk on a design that their fiancée-to-be might not like, or on the flip side that they’ve not taken a risk they should have taken because they were afraid their fiancée-to-be wouldn’t like it.

For our clients who are proposing while travelling, it’s just a huge relief not to have to worry about airport security, customs, theft and all the other anxiety that can come with carrying a valuable ring in your pocket across borders.

AM: What are some other engagement-related trends that have been big lately?
TK: Yellow gold is back! As people look for more ways to make rings that are as unique as they are, yellow gold is staging a comeback. It looks better on some skin tones than either rose gold or white gold/platinum, and we’re excited to be making yellow gold engagement rings more often.

Sapphires are also gaining in popularity over diamonds. People are turning to sapphire engagement rings more because sapphires are beautiful and also very cost-effective compared to diamonds.That sapphires also come in almost every shade of blue and every colour of the rainbow adds to that and give clients who dare to be different a lot of choice.

AM: Do you find more couples are picking out/designing the engagement ring together now rather than having the guy pick one out by himself? Why do you think that is?
TK: I am definitely seeing more couples who are designing and picking out engagement rings together. I think the biggest reason for this trend is greater equality in relationships. The days when men made all the decisions for their brides are long gone and there are fewer and fewer “traditional” relationships out there.

Most couples get engaged at a time in their lives when they are under some financial pressure as they try to figure out how they are going to plan a future together. Choosing an engagement ring is a significant purchase and one many people are no longer comfortable making alone, and for many couples, this outweighs the desire for a “surprise”

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